Japan’s new casino bill will allow three cities in the country to establish Integrated Resorts that will host casino games, mostly for international tourists and for local players with some regulations. Osaka is one of the top metropolitans that holds a promising spot for casino operators to work together and establish one of the three IRs. Osaka is also the most favorite location for casino operators and stands as a strong candidate for the new venture in Japan’s tourism. According to the licensing process, a single consortium will be proposed by the local jurisdiction, upon which the government will allow the license for an IR. This is why the casino operators around the world are keen on impressing the local authorities. Now that Osaka has registered itself for becoming the host for one of the IRs, many new operators are getting keen on knowing the jurisdiction’s demands.
The jurisdiction of the city has revealed a list of demands for a casino operator to qualify for the contract. For a successful IR development, a contract must fulfill these needs – a sufficient population base, food, infrastructure, entertainment, and regulations of the government. Osaka is prepared to establish a casino resort, and MGM Japan CEO Ed Bowers has all the reasons to support it. He clearly mentions that an IR will require political support to become successful. MGM declared the Osaka First strategy for building an IR alongside the partnership from a Japanese financial services giant, Orix.
While Tokyo-Yokohoma is considered an equally important location to consider for an IR, the cities are busy with the upcoming Olympic games and cannot focus much on the plans of IR at the moment. However, Yokohoma has also registered to become an IR location after Osaka. This has led many casino operators to take back their proposals from Osaka and put it for Yokohoma. But Osaka still stands strong as the most preferred location for casino operators due to its high population and plenty of nearby tourist attractions, even though Yokohoma is more developed. Plus, Osaka is big enough to host a place like IR and make it a large scale project without an issue.
Osaka has also announced that it will wait for the process of the concepts to finalize before they choose their IR operator. The national government is yet to finalize the rules for hosting a casino. According to a recent survey that asked the residents about their thoughts on building an IR in Osaka, 45% of residents supported the plan while 42% were against it. Osaka is the only city to receive such a high percentage of people agreeing to the resort. This is mostly because of the strong understanding in the city to build better tourism that will help their development and economy. Osaka is the only big player in the game, but soon Yokohoma becomes the new potential IR option for many operators.